On April 20, 2010, communities throughout the Gulf Coast of the United States were devastated by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, a state-of-the-art, offshore oil rig operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. The blast killed 11 of 126 rig crewmembers and injured many more, setting off a fireball that was seen 35 miles away. After burning for two days, the Deepwater Horizon sank, causing the largest offshore oil spill in American history. The spill flowed unabated for almost three months, dumping hundreds of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic ocean, shutting down the local fishing industry, polluting the fragile ecosystem, and raising serious questions about the safety of continued deep-water offshore drilling.
Brown traveled to small towns and major cities across Alabama, Louisiana and Texas to explore the fallout of the environmental disaster. Years later, the Southern Americans still haunted by the Deepwater Horizon explosion provide first-hand accounts of their ongoing experience, long after the story has faded from the front page.
The Great Invisible makes its television premiere on Monday, April 20 at 10p.m. ET / 7p.m., only on Pivot TV.
Stephen Stone was one of the 126 crew members aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and near the end of a three-week shift working for Transocean when an explosion and blowout began the Gulf oil spill on April 20, 2010. After escaping the burning rig and spending nearly a day aboard a lifeboat, Stone made it to land.
Five years later, he still suffers from PTSD.
“For a long time, I couldn’t close my eyes after the rig stuff. Even taking a shower, washing my face. I had to it fast, I didn’t like to do it," he says in the interview above from PBS' "Independent Lens" series. “It feels like someone’s going to be there or something’s going to happen.
Stone is one of several people who were featured in the 2014 documentary "The Great Invisible," a firsthand look at the oil spill through the people it impacted. The film will debut on television on Monday, April 20 at 10 p.m. EDT through the PBS "Independent Lens" series, which shows documentaries made by independent filmmakers. Pivot network will show the documentary at the same time.